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Accurate quantification of proteomics data is essential for revealing and understanding biological signaling processes. We have recently developed a chemical proteomic strategy termed phosphatase inhibitor beads and mass spectrometry (PIB-MS) to investigate endogenous phosphoprotein phosphatase (PPP) dephosphorylation signaling. Here, we compare the robustness and reproducibility of status quo quantification methods for optimal performance and ease of implementation. We then apply PIB-MS to an array of breast cancer cell lines to determine differences in PPP signaling between subtypes. Breast cancer, a leading cause of cancer death in women, consists of three main subtypes: estrogen receptor-positive (ER+), human epidermal growth factor receptor two positive (HER2+), and triple-negative (TNBC). Although there are effective treatment strategies for ER+ and HER2+ subtypes, tumors become resistant and progress. Furthermore, TNBC has few targeted therapies. Therefore, there is a need to identify new approaches for treating breast cancers. Using PIB-MS, we distinguished TNBC from non-TNBC based on subtype-specific PPP holoenzyme composition. In addition, we identified an increase in PPP interactions with Hippo pathway proteins in TNBC. These interactions suggest that phosphatases in TNBC play an inhibitory role on the Hippo pathway and correlate with increased expression of YAP/TAZ target genes both in TNBC cell lines and in TNBC patients.


Brooke L Brauer, Kwame Wiredu, Scott A Gerber, Arminja N Kettenbach. Evaluation of Quantification and Normalization Strategies for Phosphoprotein Phosphatase Affinity Proteomics: Application to Breast Cancer Signaling. Journal of proteome research. 2023 Jan 06;22(1):47-61

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PMID: 36448918

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